New music is not always a good thing. But, it is most definitely a great thing when it is from a musical icon who never fails to push the envelope of creativity and originality. Gil Scott-Heron has graced us with new music in the form of the recently released I'm New Here, which we featured earlier in the week. This new drop opens with a spoken word present, "On Coming From a Broken Home (Pt. 1)," wrapped in Kanye West's beat from "Flashing Lights." Gil's deep, resonating vocals speak from a memory past, reflecting on its connection to now as Kanye's familiar beat drizzles in between the words to link us with its familiarity. Yes, exhale. This 15-track music collection only gets better.
This is not a Hip Hop album. This is not a Rock album or a Folk album.
It is a Soul album all the way, but that's when you are speaking of
soul as music that speaks directly from one's inner core, not as a
replacement term for R&B. For, on this album, Gil brings us Folk, Hip Hop, R&B, Electronica and Spoken Word in an eclectic bundle
that is both unexpected and energizing.
On the title track, "I'm New Here," I was convinced I was hearing the
voice of the creator speak using Gil as the vehicle. Don't be spooked
or turned off by this description, but, rather, understand that, yes,
it's just that deep--just that penetrating. With that sentiment
echoing in my cerebellum, it is only fitting that the next track, "Your
Soul and Mine" erupts--an almost apocalyptic-sounding rhythm march
with Gil's rumbling vocals delivering a stern monologue.
"I'll Take Care of You" is the Gil Scott-Heron those of us who are '70's
babies can remember our parents pumping in the house with the sparse
instrumentation and Gil's gravely singing vocals peaking in soulful
The tracks on this one are pretty short. That's not a bad or good
thing, but it does lend a certain abruptness to each piece. There is
the faint feeling that the record was almost a stream of consciousness for
Gil, something that came out in a disarray of feeling and sounds and
was gathered together for the disc only after the impulsive idea came to share
it with the world. It feels almost like a collection of journal entries
in sound. "New York Is Killing Me" illustrates this stream of
consciousness best with its bluesy wail outfitted with hand-clapping
and a bass beat.
Not as punctuating and intense as Saul Williams' Niggy Tardust, this CD
does, however, allow you to see how early artists like Gil have
influenced some of our contemporary creative geniuses like Williams.
This album is a brief, yet spinning ride through the mind of a legend.
Gil Scott-Heron [Official]